A 47 Degree Turn
Kai Tak Airport is a former civilian airport in Hong Kong, which was once one of the busiest airports in the world, with one of the highest international passenger and cargo volumes in the world, serving countless passengers during its use.
It is located in the urban area of Kowloon, Hong Kong, and is surrounded by mountains on three sides. The hills to the north and northeast of the airport are about 10 kilometers away at a height of 2,000 feet, and the hills to the east are only 5 kilometers away from the runway. South of the airport is the Victoria Harbour, and less than 10 kilometers outside the harbor, and the Hong Kong Island is about 1700 feet high mountains.
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|Abu Dhabi||Gulf Air||GF152||B763|
|Amsterdam||Cathay Pacific||CX 270||B744|
|Auckland||Air New Zealand||NZ79||B767|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Cathay Pacific||CX766||A330|
|New York||Cathay Pacific||CX889||B744|
|San Francisco||Singapore Airlines||SQ1||B744|
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|Gate||Pilot||VA / IFC|
In order to land on runway 13, the aircraft will first fly west from near Cheung Chau (heading 270°) and start to descend, turn northeast around the west end of Lantau Island (heading 45°), then change to east north of Sha Lo Wan on Lantau Island (heading 88°), pass through the western harbor of Victoria Harbour and enter the densely built West Kowloon. The eastward leg of Runway 13 has had an Instrument Guidance System (IGS) since 1974, similar to the one on Runway 31, but without the lead-to-landing. When the aircraft reaches the vicinity of Kadoorie Hill in Kowloon Tsai, the pilot has to turn 47° to the right visually to align with the runway jutting into the harbor for landing. The hill is painted in red and white and illuminated at night. The plane turned here at an altitude of less than 1,000 feet (300 meters) and was only 1.4 nautical miles (2.6 kilometers) from the landing site. If a strong northeasterly wind was blowing in the harbor, the aircraft would have to make a side wind landing. When a typhoon hits Hong Kong, it is even more difficult to descend when the wind is blowing in the harbor with unstable strength gusts.
- You don’t have to be CXVA pilots to attend this event.
- ATC is likely to be present and you should always follow ATC’s orders.
- Read the chart before doing your flight or controlling as ATC.
- Respect other pilots and don’t use improbable callsign.